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Archive of posts filed under the Stan category.

Question 3 of our Applied Regression final exam (and solution to question 2)

Here’s question 3 of our exam: Here is a fitted model from the Bangladesh analysis predicting whether a person with high-arsenic drinking water will switch wells, given the arsenic level in their existing well and the distance to the nearest safe well. glm(formula = switch ~ dist100 + arsenic, family=binomial(link=”logit”)) coef.est (Intercept) 0.00 0.08 […]

New! from Bales/Pourzanjani/Vehtari/Petzold: Selecting the Metric in Hamiltonian Monte Carlo

Ben Bales, Arya Pourzanjani, Aki Vehtari, and Linda Petzold write: We present a selection criterion for the Euclidean metric adapted during warmup in a Hamiltonian Monte Carlo sampler that makes it possible for a sampler to automatically pick the metric based on the model and the availability of warmup draws. Additionally, we present a new […]

Peter Ellis on Forecasting Antipodal Elections with Stan

I liked this intro to Peter Ellis from Rob J. Hyndman’s talk announcement: He [Peter Ellis] started forecasting elections in New Zealand as a way to learn how to use Stan, and the hobby has stuck with him since he moved back to Australia in late 2018. You may remember Peter from my previous post […]

Maintenance cost is quadratic in the number of features

Bob Carpenter shares this story illustrating the challenges of software maintenance. Here’s Bob: This started with the maintenance of upgrading to the new Boost version 1.69, which is this pull request: for this issue: The issue happens first, then the pull request, then the fun of debugging starts. Today’s story starts an issue […]

Stan examples in Harezlak, Ruppert and Wand (2018) Semiparametric Regression with R

I saw earlier drafts of this when it was in preparation and they were great. Jarek Harezlak, David Ruppert and Matt P. Wand. 2018. Semiparametric Regression with R. UseR! Series. Springer. I particularly like the careful evaluation of variational approaches. I also very much like that it’s packed with visualizations and largely based on worked […]

We shouldn’t’ve called it “Stan”; I should’ve listened to Bob and Hadley

Hadley told me that one reason he came up with the name ggplot was that it would be uniquely findable on Google. When we were writing Stan and I suggested naming it Stan, Bob pointed out the googling argument but I just loved the name Stan, I loved the Ulam connection and having this friendly […]

Several post-doc positions in probabilistic programming etc. in Finland

There are several open post-doc positions in Aalto and University of Helsinki in 1. probabilistic programming, 2. simulator-based inference, 3. data-efficient deep learning, 4. privacy preserving and secure methods, 5. interactive AI. All these research programs are connected and collaborating. I (Aki) am the coordinator for the project 1 and contributor in the others. Overall […]

Postdoctoral position in Vancouver! Using Stan! Working on wine! For reals.

Lizzie Wolkovich writes that she is hiring someone to help build Stan models for winegrapes. Here’s the ad: Postdoctoral Fellow in Winegrape Research—University of British Columbia The Temporal Ecology Lab is looking for a bright, motivated and collaborative researcher to join the lab and develop new winegrape models using Stan ( The project combines decades […]

Claims about excess road deaths on “4/20” don’t add up

Sam Harper writes: Since you’ve written about similar papers (that recent NRA study in NEJM, the birthday analysis) before and we linked to a few of your posts, I thought you might be interested in this recent blog post we wrote about a similar kind of study claiming that fatal motor vehicle crashes increase by 12% after 4:20pm […]

The network of models and Bayesian workflow, related to generative grammar for statistical models

Ben Holmes writes: I’m a machine learning guy working in fraud prevention, and a member of some biostatistics and clinical statistics research groups at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. I just heard your talk “Theoretical Statistics is the Theory of Applied Statistics” on YouTube, and was extremely interested in the idea of a model-space […]

State-space models in Stan

Michael Ziedalski writes: For the past few months I have been delving into Bayesian statistics and have (without hyperbole) finally found statistics intuitive and exciting. Recently I have gone into Bayesian time series methods; however, I have found no libraries to use that can implement those models. Happily, I found Stan because it seemed among […]

Active learning and decision making with varying treatment effects!

In a new paper, Iiris Sundin, Peter Schulam, Eero Siivola, Aki Vehtari, Suchi Saria, and Samuel Kaski write: Machine learning can help personalized decision support by learning models to predict individual treatment effects (ITE). This work studies the reliability of prediction-based decision-making in a task of deciding which action a to take for a target […]

StanCon 2019: 20–23 August, Cambridge, UK

It’s official. This year’s StanCon is in Cambridge. For details, see StanCon 2019 Home Page What can you expect? There will be two days of tutorials at all levels and two days of invited and submitted talks. The previous three StanCons (NYC 2017, Asilomar 2018, Helsinki 2018) were wonderful experiences for both their content and […]

Some Stan and Bayes short courses!

Robert Grant writes: I have a couple of events coming up that people might be interested in. They are all at Stan Taster Webinar is on 15 May, runs for one hour and is only £15. I’ll demo Stan through R (and maybe PyStan and CmdStan if the interest is there on the day), […]

Mister P for surveys in epidemiology — using Stan!

Jon Zelner points us to this new article in the American Journal of Epidemiology, “Multilevel Regression and Poststratification: A Modelling Approach to Estimating Population Quantities From Highly Selected Survey Samples,” by Marnie Downes, Lyle Gurrin, Dallas English, Jane Pirkis, Dianne Currier, Matthew Spittal, and John Carlin, which begins: Large-scale population health studies face increasing difficulties […]

New golf putting data! And a new golf putting model!

Part 1 Here’s the golf putting data we were using, typed in from Don Berry’s 1996 textbook. The columns are distance in feet from the hole, number of tries, and number of successes: x n y 2 1443 1346 3 694 577 4 455 337 5 353 208 6 272 149 7 256 136 8 […]

stanc3: rewriting the Stan compiler

I’d like to introduce the stanc3 project, a complete rewrite of the Stan 2 compiler in OCaml. Join us! With this rewrite and migration to OCaml, there’s a great opportunity to join us on the ground floor of a new era. Your enthusiasm for or expertise in programming language theory and compiler development can help […]

From the Stan forums: “I’m just very thirsty to learn and this thread has become a fountain of knowledge”

Bob came across the above quote in this thread. More generally, though, I want to recommend the Stan Forums. As you can see from the snapshot below, the topics are varied: The discussions are great, and anyone can jump in. Lots of example code and all sorts of things. Also of interest: the Stan case […]

Data For Progress’s RuPaul-Predict-a-Looza

Data for Progress launched the RuPaul-Predict-a-Looza (and winner), the first ever RuPaul’s Drag Race prediction competition. Statistical models versus NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson. The prize: bragging rights and the ability to add one policy question on the next Data for Progress survey. First predictions are due this Thursday (February 28). I made a notebook […]

HMC step size: How does it scale with dimension?

A bunch of us were arguing about how the Hamiltonian Monte Carlo step size should scale with dimension, and so Bob did the Bob thing and just ran an experiment on the computer to figure it out. Bob writes: This is for standard normal independent in all dimensions. Note the log scale on the x […]